Ministry of Education

Gifted Learners

Tukuna kia rere

Awards for teachers to access learning opportunities to support gifted learners

What are the awards about?

These awards are for teachers to access learning opportunities to increase their skills for supporting gifted learners or learners with exceptional abilities.

The funding is flexible so learning opportunities are more accessible for busy classroom teachers – that will fit with your timetable and location.

What sort of award opportunity can I apply for?

The award money can be used to take part in a formal qualification or an informal learning opportunity – such as a programme, mentorship, spending time with another teacher or other things available in your community.

The types of learning opportunities you want to take part in may be unique, but they should be part of a coherent programme of learning about giftedness and meeting the needs of gifted students.

You can apply on your own, with other teachers within a community of learning, or with a network of teachers across schools. For a group/school Award more than one person must participate in the funded learning opportunity.

Your application must demonstrate how your chosen opportunity will help your teaching, support gifted learners, and benefit your school.

NB for the larger Study Awards to support the Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching with a Gifted endorsement go to: Gifted Study Award

Who can apply?

These awards are for:

  • teachers who would like to support gifted learners from early childhood to school leaving age

  • New Zealand residents, New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand.

  • Teachers currently registered to teach in New Zealand and are currently working in early learning, primary or secondary schools, Kohanga Reo or kura.

Your application will need to be endorsed by your school principal or tumuaki.

How do I apply?

Awards are made twice a year. The next round will open in early 2021.

You can provide your application in writing or you might prefer to submit a video – however you can best tell your story.

Written applications should not exceed 5 pages of an A4 document. Video clips should not last any longer than 5 minutes. The panel will not consider material that is outside of these limits.

A link is made available to upload applications when each award round opens.

Please contact us with any questions about the application process by email:

What does my application need to include?

The application form will ask for the following documentation:

  • A proposal (in writing or by video). It is important that your proposal provides a coherent plan for learning. Please ensure it includes:

    • An outline of what you will be learning and how you will put it into practice. Please detail who it is run by, when and where, and if anyone else will be taking part in the learning opportunity.

    • The desired outcomes and benefits for yourself (or your group), gifted learners that you support, and your school.

    • Why you’re interested in this area of work and why you want to take part in this learning opportunity. Help give us an idea of what you are passionate about.

    • A plan for how you’ll reflect on your learning and gain feedback from who you’ve learnt from.

    • The overall cost of the opportunity you want to pursue and the award amount you are seeking. An indicative budget is helpful.

  • Support from your school principal or Tumuaki on official letterhead or with email address.

  • Bank Account details

    • If the Award is to be paid to an individual provide banking evidence for a personal bank account including name, address, and account number. This must be signed or stamped by the bank – example
    • The ministry holds school bank details so you don’t need to provide those.
  • Remember you have the right to access to your personal information after you have submitted it. You can also correct your personal information. Just contact us through

Important things to consider for your application

Consider asking someone to look over your application to make sure you’ve included everything. Check you have included your name and contact details.

Let your passion and enthusiasm shine!

Video presentation guidelines (if applicable)

Please make sure your video is clear, concise and easy to view. We don’t expect you to have professional filming equipment, so using your phone or computer is absolutely fine. But we recommend you review your footage before submitting it, to ensure the sound and image quality is sufficient to get your message across. Avoid submitting anything that’s too shaky, loud or inaudible. We suggest asking a friend or family member to help you with the filming so you can concentrate on telling us your story.

Support for your application

Your application will need to be endorsed by your school principal or kura tumuaki.

It should include how they think it will benefit the school. We also require confirmation that they will provide teacher release time, if required.

Their support of your application should be included with the information you provide.

Contact for queries or more information

For any queries or more information please email:

What happens after I submit my application?

We will confirm we have received your application. If necessary, we will ask you for more information or to clarify anything that is unclear.

A panel will then meet to review the applications and recommend Awards.

We will get in touch you to confirm the outcome of your application, approximately 6-8 weeks after the applications close.

If your application is successful

If you receive an award, you will be expected to briefly report on the outcomes of your learning – for your learners, your school, other teachers involved in the learning and yourself. This will be expected at the conclusion of your learning.

Frequently asked questions

How much can I apply for?

There is no fixed amount because the types of opportunities are often very different. For an individual, it can range from $500 to $2,500 and for a group or network of teachers, up to $6,000. Awards can be made to either contribute to the cost of an opportunity or to fund it completely.

All applications are assessed by the panel based on how well the opportunity will:

  • benefit and support gifted learners

  • increase your understanding of giftedness and increase the effectiveness of your teaching

  • impact your school, kura, Kohanga Reo or early learning centre

My application is longer than recommended, what should I do?

The panel can’t consider material that’s beyond 5 pages of typed A4 or 5 minutes video time. Look over the suggestions in the application information about things to consider - ask someone else to edit out unnecessary information.

Who is eligible to apply for these awards?

It is open for teachers registered to teach in New Zealand and currently working in early learning, primary or secondary schools, Kohanga Reo or kura.

When do the awards open?

The next round of awards will open early in 2021. Keep an eye on this page for updates.

How often do the awards run?

We have two rounds of awards per year – usually opening in March and September.

How do I apply?

A link will be provided here when the next round opens.

What sorts of things can I apply to do for this award?

You can apply to learn anything. As long as you can tell us how it will:

  • benefit and support gifted learners

  • will increase your understanding of giftedness

  • increase the effectiveness of your teaching

  • how it will impact your school, kura, Kohanga Reo or early learning centre.

Please note: for a group/school Award more than one person must participate in the funded learning.

Who can I contact if I have more questions about the awards?